People’s Hearts are Dangerous – Part 1
人心惟危 Rén xīn wéi wēi, – People’s hearts are dangerous,
道心惟微 Dào xīn wéi wēi, – Dào’s heart is small,
惟精惟一 Wéi jīng wéi yī – Put all energy to become one,
允执厥中 Yǔn zhí jué zhōng – Only allowed to hold the centre with all effort.
These sentences come from Rújiā’s 儒家 – Confucianism’s classic book Shàng Shū 尚書. What do they mean? The first four words say “People’s hearts are dangerous”. This is true. People always want more and more and we want so much that we even harm other people or other things. Chinese say, “人心不足蛇呑象 Rén Zīn Bù Zú Shé Tūn Xiàng – People’s hearts are never satisfied and can even be like a snake eating an elephant.” It is true! Look at children they always want more and want whatever they like. So, people’s hearts are dangerous, adults even want more and more, no limit.
The second four words say, “Dao’s heart is small.” The Dào is the proper natural way which makes all things balanced. For people natural things are walking, eating, resting, loving and caring about others. The result of all these things working together is balance with no conflict. This is Dào. Dào’s heart is small and this means in order to lean Dào, we need to watch, focus and concentrate on, like we are watching a very small thing.